SchoolArts Magazine

December 2015

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 16 of 54

M A N A G I N G T H E A R T R O O M Two Artrooms in One I n addition to my physical artroom, I also have a virtual artroom: my blog, Baldauf BlogArt. My stu- dents can come to the artroom, but they can also go to my blog whenever they sit down at a computer or use a tablet or smart phone. The two spaces are symbiotic—each adds something the other can't. Having a blog helps students access my art class, the art world, art museums, and artists. Like my artroom, I set up my blog to reflect my teaching style. I wanted it to be accessible and a place where stu- dents want to be—interesting, infor- mative, stimulating, and colorful. A 24-Hour Classroom Students have art class with me for less than an hour at a time, but the virtual artroom is accessible twenty- four hours a day. Students can access it from home when they have more time, are more comfortable and more open to new information, are not rushed or crowded, or if they are absent from school. The blog is also linked to the school website and is accessible to parents, teachers, and the community. Mutual Benefits I created Baldauf BlogArt to be an anchor in cyberspace—a virtual room where everything I have posted on the Web can be accessed with a click. The blog includes links to photos of student work, digital pre - sentations, Pinterest boards, Google g alleries, videos, and more. The blog isn't just a tool for students, how- ever; I can use it to look at student a rtwork, read their journal entries, and access their digital portfolios. It's a wonderful assessment and grad - ing tool. Every week, I post the current art assignment and any related work- sheets, videos, or external links. On Monday, when I walk into the artroom, I can turn on the computer, go to my blog, and pull up the week's lesson. As a result, the caliber of my instruction has improved tenfold. Setting up an Online Artroom Start by looking at other art teach - ers' websites or blogs, then choose a f ree blog-building site, such as Blog- ger, WordPress, or Weebly. Think o f a good title for your blog; choose from the available templates or make your own; then add content, includ - ing links, photos, lessons, artwork, p ages, and more. Then start posting! Now that my blog is established, I work on it over the weekends for a couple of hours, but you can spend as much or as little time as you like perfecting yours. I think you'll find it is very much worth it. Annemarie Baldauf is an art teacher at Riverview Middle School in Bay Point, California. baldaufa@ W E B L I N K Annemarie Baldauf Like m rtroom, I set up m log to reflect m teaching st le. I wanted it to be accessible and a place where students want to be—interesting, informative, stimulating, and colorful. 12 DECEMBER 2015 SchoolArts

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